The Old Settler’s Music Festival is not just an enjoyable time for the patrons who frequent the fest each year. With its youth programs, and the opportunities it provides for up-and-coming acts along with established names, it’s an important part of the roots music ecosystem.
Will 2018 be yet another banner year for independent country releases like 2017 was? We’ll have to see, but what we do know is what to expect in the release department for at least the first quarter of the year, while rumors abound about other projects that could come to light later in the year. Here’s a detailed run down.
Anderson East, Ashley Campbell, Brandi Carlile, Caitlyn Smith, Caleb Caudle, Courtney Patton, Dallas Moore, Dave Cobb, Dusty Rust, First Aid Kit, JD Wilkes, Laura Benitez, Mary Gauthier, Mike & The Moonpies, Red Shahan, Ruby Boots, Scotty McCreery, Ugly Valley Boys, Vivian Leva, Wade Bowen
Texas music stalwart Wade Bowen will release his latest record called Solid Ground via Thirty Tigers. Produced by songwriter and guitar player Keith Gattis, it will be Bowen’s first proper full-blown release of original music since his 2014 self-titled record.
I’ve always said, one of the greatest moments to witness in a mainstream artist’s career is when they realize they’ve got nothing left to lose. And after years of playing musical politics, they cut lose and do whatever the hell they want to do, devil may care. Miranda Lambert is going to do whatever the hell it is that she wants to do.
“I’m gonna do one by myself, because I can,” Miranda told the crowd. “I want to do this on behalf of all the girls that are not being played on country radio right now. If you really love us, you will call and request any female that has a song out and something to say. This is one of those called ‘Tin Man.'”
The Bowen Musicfest hosted by Texas music star Wade Bowen has just announced its 19th Annual, 2017 lineup, and it’s a doozy. Maybe the best yet. Folks will pack themselves into Indian Springs Park in Waco, TX on Sunday, June 4th for the festivities, all benefiting the Bowen Family Foundation.
Ben Dorcy is the nearly 92-year-old original roadie who started in 1950 and worked with Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and June Carter, Jerry Jeff Walker, and even more modern artists like Randy Rogers and Jack Ingram. Though he may not be as well known as the artists themselves, Ben Dorcy is one of the most beloved individuals in all of Texas music.
Editor’s Note: This is a contribution to Saving Country Music by Zac McDaniel who is a freelance writer. Zac is also a rancher and small business owner from Oklahoma. Along with immersing himself in the music of others he is also an aspiring songwriter. He enjoys spending time with his wife, children and Gibson guitar. […]
The prospects of a new incarnation of the long-running country music-themed television show Hee-Haw being in the works opens up a whole realm of delicious possibilities of how the show could take shape, and who could comprise the cast. So if a new Hee-Haw show comes to pass, who should be part of the cast?
The comment from Granger Smith came in a recent interview involving multiple reporters that was posted on The Boot Wednesday (7-13). Granger’s words were smoldering for numerous days until it spilled over Saturday, with Texas artist Wade Bowen and others taking exception to Granger’s comments publicly.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a better example of the wisdom and glow of womanhood than in a song by Jamie Lin Wilson. Whatever it is that possesses certain people to be able to encapsulate those most potent of sentiments and emotions of life into song in a way that renders itself as timeless, Jamie Lin has it.
Scheduled to take place this year between April 18th to the 23rd, the Larry Joe Taylor Festival will welcome an estimated 50,000 people through the gates over 6 days, and feature music on three stages from over 50 bands at the Melody Mountain Ranch in Stephenville, TX. One of the biggest and oldest music festivals in the country, Larry Joe Taylor Fest has been going on for over a quarter century.
But what’s the fun of getting to the top when you’ve compromised everything to get there? Despite some declaring the #1 for “Backroad Song” as a victory for Texas country, it is anything but. It was Granger’s abandonment of Texas country and the values of that scene, and walking away from the decent songwriting evidenced earlier in his career that finally got him the commercial success he has clearly craved.
Nothing Shines Like Neon has all the liquor, beer, bar scenes, and sultry interactions with lovers you might hear on some mainstream country record, except it tells the story from the opposite perspective—the more realistic perspective. It’s where libations aren’t just flowing to party hearty, but to help douse heartbreak.
On Monday, the official lineup for the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was “announced” by astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station. Perhaps the aeronautical histrionics were a bid to distract everyone back on Earth from the fact that this year’s lineup is the most mundane, most mainstream-centric and generic pop tart Kellogg’s cereal assemblage of plastic talent ever accrued on this beautiful blue planet.
Abbi Walker, Billy Currington, Bri Bagwell, Cole Swindell, Cooper Wade, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Houston Rodeo, Jamie Richards, Jason James, JB and the Moonshine Band, Josh Ward, Justin van Sant, Little Big Town, Max Stalling, MIke and the Moonpies, Miranda Lambert, Randy Rogers, Sam Riggs, The Band Perry, Trent Willmon, Wade Bowen, Zane Williams
Too often in music we tend to focus on the here and now, the young and the new. Who are the hot names that are rising up in the ranks? Who’s going to make a big splash in music in the coming months and years? All this talk is understandable. It’s fun. But this is not always the best exercise for fleshing out who actually has the music most worthy of being recognized.
Being willing to go where a song takes you is the challenge in the heart of every music lover. Hopefully one of these songs released in 2015 will take you some place you want to be, or somewhere you’ve never been before. These songs were selected on their own merit, not from the strength of the artist or album from where they came.
Brennen Leigh, Cody Jinks, Dawes, Eric Church, Eric Paslay, Evan Felker, James McMurtry, JB Beverley, John Moreland, Justin Townes Earle, Kacey Musgraves, Love and Theft, Mo Pitney, Randy Rogers, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Sunny Sweeney, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen
2015’s Album of the Year candidates might constitute the most wide open field of contenders since this exercise has been in practice. There’s no clear front runners, anyone could win, and each candidate has pluses and minuses. Like every year, your opinion counts, and may even count more this year with no clear front runner.
Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Don Henley, James McMurtry, Jamie Lin Wilson, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, Jason Isbell, Jason James, John Moreland, Kacey Musgraves, Lindi Ortega, Lonesome Wyatt, MIke and the Moonpies, Rachel Brooke, Randy Rogers, Roo Arcus, Ryan Bingham, Turnpike Troubadours, Wade Bowen, Ward Thomas, Whitey Morgan, Whitey Morgan and the 78's, Yelawolf
A common criticism of Texas country is that it has become a kissing cousin to Nashville’s Music Row over the last few years, especially with so many of the region’s top acts, including the Randy Rogers Band, signing with Nashville-based outfits. But the band returning to their independent roots is a good sign they will make whatever album they wish, without the influence of Music Row’s commercial interests.
Texas country artist Pat Green recently released a new single called “While I Was Away” ahead of the release of his new record Home on August 14th, and when asked what he thought about the new artists and the new style of country music prevailing in the mainstream today, he not only took the high road, he had some high praise for one of country music’s most notorious repeat offenders.
Thoughts and prayers continue to pour in for Randy Rogers, his wife Chelsea Rogers, and the entire Rogers family after the Texas country star revealed that his recently-born daughter Rumer passed away Tuesday night (6-9) after battling a rare brain condition. A memorial for the newborn is being planned. “She died in our arms and in no pain. She was absolutely beautiful in every way,” Randy said in a statement.
Being willing to see where a song takes you is at the heart of every music lover, and in this spirit I present eleven hand selected songs released in the first half of 2015 that will hopefully take you someplace you want to be, or somewhere you’ve never been before. This is the cream of the crop in my opinion; the gut punchers not for the faint of heart.
Charlie Parr, Chris Knight, Cody Jinks, Eric Paslay, James McMurtry, John Moreland, Justin Townes Earle, Lee Ann Womack, Love & Theft, Miranda Lambert, Randy Rogers, Townes Van Zandt, Wade Bowen, Whitey Morgan
So we’re close enough to the half way pole in 2015 to start thinking about what the best has been so far, and to get ready for what is sure to be a pretty exciting second half of 2015 for album releases. There’s been some big surprises, a few letdowns, but overall 2015 so far has been a pretty varied season for releases.
Bad Omen, Best albums of 2015, Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, Complicated Game, Cowboys & Sunsets, Fear & Saturday Night, Hold My Beer, James McMurtry, Lonesome Wyatt, Love Story, Rachel Brooke, Randy Rogers, Roo Arcus, Ryan Bingham, Sonic Ranch, The FIrewatcher's Daughter, Traveller, Wade Bowen, Whitey Morgan, Yelawolf